Urban Assault Ride returns to Austin this November

Alina Slavik, left, and Steph Cosmas ride adult-sized Big Wheels at the 2011 Urban Assault Ride.  Kelly West AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Alina Slavik, left, and Steph Cosmas ride adult-sized Big Wheels at the 2011 Urban Assault Ride. Kelly West AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Time to perfect your Big Wheel riding skills, folks.

Participants climb out of a raft made of inner tubes during the 2011 Urban Assault Ride. Kelly West AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Participants climb out of a raft made of inner tubes during the 2011 Urban Assault Ride. Kelly West AMERICAN-STATESMAN

After a two-year hiatus, the Urban Assault Ride returns to Austin this fall.

The race – part bike ride, part obstacle race and part scavenger hunt – was first staged here in 2003. I participated way back then, and found myself tearing around the city on a bicycle, flinging a Frisbee, floating on a giant rubber duck, solving puzzles, leaping into mountains of suds and even performing on stage.

It’s a hoot. But there’s a broader purpose. Race organizers hope the race helps show people that bicycles are a great way to get around town.

Teams of two plan their own route to checkpoints around town, tackling obstacles at each stop along the way. This year’s race will feature those adult-sized Big Wheels, plus an array of wacky pit stops, where participants will compete in the paper boychallenge, the human slingshot, the longboard launch and more. The first team to hit all the checkpoints, complete the obstacles and cross the finish line wins.

Racers begin the 2010 Urban Assault Ride. Thao Nguyen/AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Racers begin the 2010 Urban Assault Ride. Thao Nguyen/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Perhaps more importantly, after the race comes the post-race party, with beer and prizes.

The Austin race is set for Nov. 1.

“We are super excited to bring back an event we are so passionate about,” said organizer Josh Kravetz. “Our team lives and breathes adventure, beer and bikes, and this event brings it all home. We are creating a super fun experience that is getting more people on bikes more often. That’s long-lasting result that we can be really proud of.”

Registration is capped at 2,000 riders. Sign up here.

Author: Pam LeBlanc

Pam LeBlanc writes about fitness and travel for the Austin American-Statesman. She has worked for the Statesman since 1998 and written her weekly fitness column, Fit City, since 2004.

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